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The VLRC is an independent, government funded organisation that develops monitors and coordinates law reform in Victoria. The role of the Victorian Law.

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Presentation on theme: "The VLRC is an independent, government funded organisation that develops monitors and coordinates law reform in Victoria. The role of the Victorian Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 The VLRC is an independent, government funded organisation that develops monitors and coordinates law reform in Victoria. The role of the Victorian Law Reform commission is to assist in coordinating law reform in Victoria, and to provide directions and priorities ion law reform. Their main role is to undertake research and make recommendations for changes in the law on issues that are referred to the commission by the attorney general (known as a reference) They can also make recommendations for changes in the law that have not been referred to by the attorney general.


3  To make law reform recommendations on matters referred to it by the attorney general  To make recommendations on minor legal issues of general community concern  To suggest to the attorney general that he or she refer to a law reform issue to the commission  To educate the community on areas of law relevant to the commissions work  To monitor and coordinate law reform activity in Victoria

4  In 1974 Victoria established the office of Law reform commissioner; Professor Louis Waller  The commission produced reports on many areas of criminal law as well as property law, science, discrimination and medicine.  In 1992 the law reform commission of Victoria was abolished and replaced with the Parliamentary Law reform Committee and the Victorian attorney-general’s law reform advisory council.  In 2000, after a new government had been elected, an act to reinstate the commission was passed and the VLRC opened for business on April 6 th 2001.  The first references given to the commission on April 27 th 2001 were  Sexual offences  Disputes between co-owners  Privacy

5 Commission receives a reference from the attorney general or begins a community law reform project. This can originate from lobbying by individuals or groups to change a law or because certain cases have highlighted problems in the current law Commission staff undertake initial research, consulting with experts in the area being investigated. Research involves reading books, journals, internet sites, legislation etc. An issues and discussion paper is published, explaining key issues as well as asking the community questions to help them when writing submissions Submissions are invited by all members of the community (lawyers, community, legal bodies etc.) Submissions are considered by those writing the recommendations. Consultations are undertaken with members of the public and relevant agencies. Often experts in a particular field are asked to research an area where help is needed A report is published with recommendations to the law. People are given the chance to comment on possible recommendations The attorney general tables the report in parliament Parliament decides whether or not to implement the recommendations through legislation

6 CONSULTATION: - Staff research key issues and identify those affected by the laws under investigation. - Meetings are arranged with these people - Strategies to get people involved include: - Regular visits with outer suburban and rural centres - Meetings with people affected by the proposals - E-mailed newsletter updates ADVISORY GROUPS: - People are selected due to their expertise in issues being considered - Also consults with an advisory council for areas that need law reform - Current members include: - Equal opportunity commission of Victoria - Disability advisory council - Victoria police - The commission requires experts such as doctors and scientists to talk about issues such as IVF SUBMISSIONS: - Asking the community to respond to a submission - Can be by email, phone or written document - The commissions processes and sources of information are available for all to scrutinize - If the author asks for them to be confidential then they are not available to be viewed

7 5 – Facts about the proposed change 1. The current privacy practices are less well regulated 2. Under the current law, drug and alcohol testing, internet and email monitoring and video and audio surveillance are all permissible with few checks to protect workers 3. Workplace privacy was the first issue tackled by the Victorian government on surveillance 4. Significant gaps in legislative protection were found 5. The investigation into surveillance in public places started in March 2006. Workplace privacy

8 4 – Groups that have provided advice on change 1.The commission division who works on a project with researchers to give them support 2. Advisory committee who calls on experts in a particular area to gather detailed information 3.Expert roundtables that include consultations and opinions 4. Issues paper that discusses what privacy means whilst offering an understanding of ‘privacy’ Workplace privacy

9 3 – Reasons to support the change 1.Workers are being watched, examined and spied on when they are unaware of it 2. Most of the workplaces examined had no regulation to be doing the tests they were carrying out – making it illegal 3.It can be seen as a matter of breach of personal and human rights Workplace privacy

10 2 – Main aspects of the terms of the reference 1. whether legislative or other reforms should be made to ensure that workers' privacy, including that of employees, independent contractors, outworkers and volunteers, is appropriately protected in Victoria. 2. whether legislative or other measures are necessary to ensure that there is appropriate control of surveillance, including current and emerging methods of surveillance, and the publication of photographs without the subject's consent. As part of this examination, the commission should consider whether any regulatory models proposed by the commission in relation to surveillance of workers, could be applied in other surveillance contexts, such as surveillance in places of public resort, to provide for a uniform approach to the regulation of surveillance. Workplace privacy

11 1 – Personal opinion about the proposed change I think the proposed change to check surveillances in the workplace is extremely necessary. The fact that we are being watched, often when we are not aware of it almost seems unfair and scary. Also the privacy that is being invaded through means of psychological testing, biometric technologies, and GPS tracking technology is unacceptable, especially due to the fact that they were all without regulation. Workplace privacy

12 5 – Facts about the proposed change 1.The sexual offences review wanted to make it easier for victims to report crimes to assist the justice process. 2.Some people find it hard to report sexual crimes including children, indigenous people and the mentally disabled 3.Victims of sexual assault are the least likely to report criminal offence than any other crime 4.The people pushing for the proposed change include the victims, lawyers and support groups that work with women 5. Another reason for the change stems from the fact that defence lawyers, court staff and police were concerned that criminals would not receive a fair trial

13 4 – Groups that have provided advice on change 1.Focus groups worked with police and counsellors to better understand police attitudes and experiences of people who deal with police after an attack 2.Commission division is a group that meets with researchers to give them support and direction with their work on sexual offences. 3. Advisory committee who provide advice to the commission of the discussion paper and interim report 4.Consultations are held for people involved in sexual assault to gather all the different experiences and opinions on how to improve the system

14 3 – Reasons to support the change 1.There is unfair justice as victims of sexual assault often find it difficult to report the crime due to shock, fear and vulnerability 2. Criminals are getting away free of punishment 3. Communities consequently become more dangerous if victims fail to report crimes

15 2 – Main aspects of the terms of the reference 1.To review the current legislative procedures and accordingly determine whether or not changes or alterations need to be made in response to the victims needs 2. To develop educational programs necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the current and proposed law

16 1 – Personal opinion about the proposed change I believe the proposed change to allow victims of sexual assault to confidently report crimes is an overdue proposal that should have been introduced to the public a long time ago. I think it will be beneficial as victims will no longer feel as though they are alone, and they will be able to report issues that can therefore benefit the community in the long run.

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